Children's Books

Welcome to the Youth Services Children's Books blog. We encourage you to give feedback and share.
APRIL 1, 2009
Planting the Trees of Kenya The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola

Beautifully illustrated and formatted in picture book style, this book is a true story about a woman's effort to help her homeland.  Wangari Maathai grew up in a green area of Kenya where trees filled the landscape, fish filled the streams and people tended beautiful gardens.  After returning to Kenya from completing college in America, Wangari returned to her homeland to find nothing she remembered.  The trees were gone.  The fish were no longer because streams were dried up.  Her people were even malnourished from lack of food.  Wangari looked at the situation and thought of a solution.  Why not plant trees?  They used the seeds from a few remaining trees and often had to dig their own wells for water.  With much hard work, the land again regained its beauty and nourished its people.  In 2004 Wangari was the first woman from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  She began the Green Belt Movement in 1977.  This book is most suitable for readers in grades 2-5.  It could be a family read with younger children along with some good discussion.

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